One of the greatest parts of the entire trip was getting to sit in on an actual debate session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The agenda topic was "combatting terrorism." The hour we sat in on the session was one of the most engaging and interesting experiences, we were sitting in on the process of policy-making, current events and future history all at once.
A very cool stop we made on the way to Strasbourg was at the American cemetery for fallen American WWII soldiers in France and Germany. It is the largest cemetery of its kind.
Next stop: Luxembourg. We were given a personal tour of the European Court of Justice, which was very interesting. Being able to explore the institutions of the EU has been such a privilege.
The European Commission in Brussels. We were able to meet with multiple officials and were informed of the workings of the Commission and the EU institutions. It is basically the equivalent of the executive in the US. So it is basically the White House of Europe. And we got to visit it. Plus we got bags, notepads, and pens.
Waffle breaks are the best breaks.
A feeling that we all are familiar with, especially those who go abroad, is that feeling of being completely in a moment and yet almost having an out-of-body experience of you in the moment at the same time. It's coming to the awareness that you are surrounded by beauty, that this moment is purely happy, about appreciating where you are and being very keenly aware of life. Watching the sunset from a boat on La Seine in Paris is precisely one of those moments.
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<p>Hello there! My name is Sarah, a student of International Affairs and German from South Carolina venturing to Freiburg, Germany to explore the land of pretzels, soccer, and chocolate and eat my way through the food of many other European countries. With my trusty camera by my side, I am excited to share my adventures with you all.</p>